San Antonio – The South San ISD school board of trustees accepted Superintendent Alexandro Flores' resignation Tuesday, after less than a year on the job.
Trustees Mandy Martinez, District 1, Louis Ybarra Jr., District 2, and Elda Flores, District 7, announced their resignations shortly before the vote to accept Flores' resignation. The trustees said they did not feel valued on the board.
The separation agreement included a severance payment of $187,577.50 to Flores, equal to 11 months of his salary. Flores had more than three years left on his four-year contract.
Read the separation agreement below:
An interim superintendent has been appointed until one is chosen.
The move comes after months of contentious dialog between the board and Flores which started with the board’s request to reopen Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle School and West Campus High School.
A monitor placed by the TEA to oversee the board has pointed out several problems with the way the board dictates to the district staff and dismisses Flores' recommendations.
Flores signed a four-year contract with the district in October 2018.
Dr. Bob Sanborn, with Children @ Risk, an organization that grades schools and districts based on their performance, says unity with the board and district is key to helping students succeed.
“We've seen all across the state of Texas (that) when board members are fighting, you know you don't have the leadership necessary to do what's right for students right ... so there needs to be this unified vision,” he said. “And so the superintendent and the board really need to be on the same page.”
He says voters need to put the pressure on the board to ensure they pick the right superintendent with a plan they can follow.
Flores was reluctant to open the shuttered schools due to low enrollment and the cost associated with the endeavor. He was given a few months to get the work accomplished.
So far, South San ISD has spent more than $2.6 million on reopening the schools. The cost includes repairing, cleaning and other preparations to get the buildings in shape and ready for students.
The estimated costs for staffing, according to district staff, is $1.3 million for Kazen, $1.7 million for Athens and $443,000 for West Campus.
That’s roughly $6 million dollars in total, not including $90,000 spent on consultation in preparation for the openings.
Board members who pushed for the reopening said the students would arrive once the schools were opened, pointing to the housing growth around the district that would result in higher enrollment across the district.
A total of 8,450 students are enrolled at South San ISD as of Tuesday; at this time last year, 8,811 students were enrolled. A better grasp of the true numbers is expected around October.